We got to our Utah home at the beginning of June. We had left in the middle of winter and hired a landscaper to take care of the yard while it was rented out as an Air BNB. Our last guest mentioned the yard looking a little unkept, but we were totally unprepared for coming home to a yard full of weeds. See how we fixed that and made a DIY birdhouse on a pole.
When we first arrived, this is the picture my husband took to send to the landscaper to fire them. We had paid extra for weed maintenance, but the weeds were everywhere! And super long. It was embarrassing.
Last year my husband installed sprinklers and we haven’t seeded yet, so that’s another project for this summer so we can have a thicker lawn. As you can see, the backyard is not up to par and will be what we’re focusing on this month.
I love looking at houses and lately I’ve been appreciating good landscaping. It’s hard to do and it takes years of patience as plants grow in or die. Finding the right plants and letting them mature isn’t a quick fix. We tried to start the foundation this year knowing that one day, it’d pay off. The goal is to create a space that’ll be the backdrop to our lasting memories here.
The first thing we did was weed the garden.
Then we did the fun part- we went to the local nursery and bought 4 pink roses and a peach tree.
When I was in high school, the house I grew up in had a mature peach tree in the backyard. I’d come home from school and go straight to that tree and pick the ripest juiciest peach. It was divine! My whole life I’ve wanted to recreate that- enjoying a peach after a long day. So to have this peach tree feels poignant. We might even have a few peaches this year!
Our yard is long and skinny and broke into two parts. The back of our yard is a little orchard- we have a few pear trees, a cherry tree, and half a dozen apple trees. That area is the “wild” part of our yard. So we decided to delineate the back area from the front (where our entertaining area is).
First, my husband planted the roses then put down weed block and pea gravel so this area will (hopefully) be less maintenance. Next, he installed metal posts every few feet.
Then, he attached vinyl lattice to the posts with zip ties.
This was the simplest fence we could think of. I’m still wanting to trim it out, but I like having a barrier between the two sections of the yard.
Once we were done with that, I thought it’d be fun to add some accessories to create some whimsy to the space.
diy birdhouse on a pole
- A variety of birdhouses
- Wood dowels
- Paint- I used Behr latex paint that I had on hand- Beloved Pink, Lamplit, Country Weekend, and Watery
My son and I went to a thrift store and picked up 3 bird houses we thought would work. Each one was $1-$2 such a good price! Then I went to Hobby Lobby and grabbed the forth one for $4.79. These will be primarily decorative, but I will add bird food in to see if our yard birdies will use them. Fingers crossed!
You can see that the house with the heart opening is missing a roof, so my husband cut two pieces of wood and nailed them on.
The first thing we did is drill a hole in the bottom of each bird house. The idea is that a dowel will go through the hole and the roof of the house will support it.
Next, my husband sanded the bottom of the dowels to have points. I’m sure there’s a place to buy pre made stakes and I should have gone to Home Depot or a hardware store to buy them. But we used what we had!
For the top of each dowel, my husband also shaped it to mimic the shape of the roof. That way it’d sit against the roof snugly- you can see it in the next picture.
And now, I took some construction adhesive and glued the top of the dowel and the base of the house to the dowel. I pushed the pole in the ground so that the house could sit up right while the glue dried.
The only house where the dowel trick didn’t work was this one with the slanted roof. So we drilled a screw into the top and that connected to the dowel and held everything in place.
Finally, once the glue was dry I painted each house a different color. I did two coats of latex paint. I might go back and cover them in a clear top coat for even more protection, but this felt good for now.
And here we have our four painted birdhouses! I’ll be honest, this was a little more laborious than I was planning. But they turned out so cute and make a really fun accent on the trellis fence-
Once our roses fill in and are actually in bloom, this’ll look even cuter! I love the thought that one day this whole fence will be full of pink roses.
At my first job in college, my boss Jan drove me to her house just to show me all of her roses in bloom. She had a picket fence and hundreds of pink roses along it. It was SO gorgeous and I hope one day, this somewhat resembles that.
Don was my helper on this project. He got his own Halloween birdhouse (he’s obsessed with Halloween) and had fun playing with that while I got the rest of these in the ground.
Did I mention that I painted this arch too?! I just used a bottle of white spray paint I had. We have climbing roses on either side and hope they’ll reach the top one day. They’re a few years old, but I can picture how gorgeous they’ll be when they get to the top.
This was a full week project. The flowers and tree were an investment to this cute yard. The after doesn’t look that exciting, but it sure is progress! And MUCH better than seeing a yard full of weeds. It’s ok that it isn’t Pinterest perfect quite yet. I know this’ll be a beautiful spot that just gets prettier each year.
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